The BMW R65 was introduced in 1978, offering a 648cc airhead motor with 44 horsepower. Owner maintenance is standard practice with these BMW touring bikes, and the bike came with a full tool kit and even a hand-operated time pump. Though BMW expected that owners would take care of most maintenance, they probably did not expect them to rebuild their machines in such radical ways.
Enter Mad Max, a BMW R65 bobber built by Gabriele and Massimo of Sicily’s Delux Motorcycles. The duo describe themselves as:
Two good guys united by the same passions, including surfing, skateboarding, rock music, R&B.
BMW R65 “Mad Max”: Build Story
This R65 was originally purchased in 1983, and the Delux Motorcycles crew found the bike in an old farmer’s barn, dust-covered and rusting away despite just 45,000 km on the odometer. Given the knobby tires on the bike, they believe the bike had been used for chores around the farm.
They decided to rebuild the bike in a Mad Max style, meaning they would use whatever components they could get their hands on. As they say:
He is reborn of everything.
They wanted a bike whose style was extremely simple, light, and minimal.
In the project we have always followed the idea of keeping a compactness and simplicity of a bicycle.
For most of us motorcyclists, the love of two wheels began on pedal-powered BMX, mountain, or racing bikes. Certainly it did for the crew here at BikeBound, and we love custom builds that draw their design cues from the cycling world. The most obvious bicycle-influenced design element of this bobber — and perhaps the signature component of the entire bike — is the gas tank, which recalls the top bar of a bicycle frame.
The tank was hand-built from a 60cm length of water pipe. The wall thickness is 1cm (!), and the fuel lines and cap are re-purposed natural gas conduits. Another bicycle design cue comes in the form of the saddle, sourced from BRN (Bernardi), an Italian bicycle component manufacturer that’s been in business since the 1940s.
The crew left the patina intact, and went with zero instrumentation — after all, few vintage bicycles have speedometers or cyclocomputer displaying cadence (RPM).
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- Photos by Floriana Di Carlo.
- Pipeburn also covered this bike here.